Indonesia is Threatening to Ban Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio’s recent Indonesian vacation could be his last. The Oscar-winning actor and outspoken environmental activist took to Twitter and Instagram last week drawing attention to the issues facing the ecosystem surrounding Indonesia’s Mount Leuser National Park.
His social media posts, which also linked to a Change.org petition to protect the region, caught the attention of immigration officials in Indonesia, and they are now threatening to ban DiCaprio from ever entering the country again, according to the AP.
The trouble arose last week, when DiCaprio visited the park in Northern Sumatra, flying on a private jet to Kualanamu Airport, before he and his entourage took a helicopter to the protected park.
The actor then posted on social media that the palm oil industry and the farms where the oil is harvested are threatening the jungle ecosystem and its animal inhabitants. In his posts, DiCaprio wrote that the expansion of the palm oil plantations “is fragmenting the forest and cutting off key elephant migration corridors.”
“Its forests are home to the densest remaining populations of the critically endangered Sumatran #orangutan,” DiCaprio wrote. “But Palm Oil expansion is destroying this unique place.”
Heru Santoso, a spokesman representing Indonesia’s Directorate General for Immigration at the Law and Human Rights Ministry, told the AP that while the government appreciates DiCaprio’s efforts to preserve the ecosystem, they object to his portrayal of the palm oil industry. "We support his concern to save the Leuser ecosystem," Santoso said. "But we can blacklist him from returning to Indonesia at any time if he keeps posting incitement or provocative statements in his social media."
According to Santoso, the palm oil industry has the right to request that DiCaprio be barred from visiting Indonesia, but so far no official requests have been received.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which was founded by the actor, is “supporting local partners to establish a mega-fauna sanctuary in the Leuser Ecosystem, last place on Earth where Sumatran orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants coexist in the wild.”